tv Washington Journal CSPAN April 8, 2013 7:00am-10:00am EDT
attacks and later, we will talk legacy of iraql and afghanistan." next.ngton journal"is now next. host: good morning, welcome to "washington journal" on this monday, april 8, 2013. the house and senate return to washington this week, and face issues ranging from immigration to the president's budget coming out on wednesday, to gun control. president obama travels to connecticut today to talk about gun laws, he'll be in the state capitol of hartford. the governor there signed a law last week controlling gun use. we'll talk more about that this morning. what states are doing on the gun front. in the "u.s.a. today"'s paper, saying states are looking to tax guns and amo. we'd like to hear from you this
morning. do you think stats should tax guns and ammunitions? ere are the numbers to call -- online.also find us from the u.s.t. today, states are looking to tax guns and amo. it would be used for licensing and mental health and victim services. we would like to get your impressions about this. here's a story by judy keen.
states and what they're doing. maryland, maryland general assembly passed a bill that includes a fee up to $25 for handgun licenses. we'll look at some of the other states grappling with this question. but first let's take a listen now to the governor of connecticut. he was on cnn's state of the union yesterday. guns, of course, an issue and gun violence an issue in connecticut, home of the newtown shootings back in december at sandy hook elementary school. the connecticut governor was responding to comments made by the executive vice president of who was talking about connecticut's gun law.
here's what the governor said in defense. >> wayne reminds me of the clowns at the circus, they get the most attention. that's what they're paid to do. the reality is the gun that was killed to kill 26 people on december 14 was legally purchased in the state of connecticut, even though we had an assault weapons ban. but, there were loopholes in it that you could drive a truck through. this guy is so out of whack, it's unbelievable. 92% of the american people want universal background checks. i can't get on a plane as the governor of the state of connecticut without someone running a background check on me. why should you be able to buy a gun or armor piercing ammunition. it doesn't make any sense, he doesn't make any sense, thus my reference to the circus. host: and president obama will be in hartford today. c-span will be tuning in to see what the president has to sigh and do. you can find out more on our ebb
site. we're expecting that this evening about 5:45 p.m. the president will deliver remarks on what is house is calling common sense measures to reduce gun violence. c-span.org is where you can find more. let's go to the phones. david is orlando on our independent line. hi, david. caller: hi. i thought they already did tax guns and ammunition. when ever you buy a gun or ammunition, there's a state sales tax on it. i think that's fair they would do that. but anything beyond that is an infringement on our second amendment right. trying to push this thing where we're forced to get insurance, and they're trying to say that returning vets are all mentally ill. they're trying, what they're doing is they're shot gunning, no pun intended, they're shocking trying to get anything to stick, coming up with all
these ideas to grab all our guns. that comes before tirni. tyranny. host: david, what do you think about using money that could come from gun sales to work on things like mental health facilities, or helping those who have been injured. there are some plans here that would help, big mental health victim services. does that change your opinion at all? caller: no, i think that's great. i think they should focus on the mental health issue. what you have is, you have a lot of well-meaning people in the middle and lower levels that see a tragedy and they want to help and they want to change things and they really mean well. a tiny handful of people at the top who want to take our guns at into a new world
order. but to answer your question, to focus on the mental health question, if, here's the problem, if the psychiatrist, let's say, i'm sure you're a sane person, you had a gun and somebody made you see a psychiatrist and that psychiatrist deemed you nuts or whatever, and said that you couldn't have a gun. now, how do you fight that? i mean, does the average person have $50,000 to hire an attorney and go to court and battle it and get other psychiatrist and say no, that other psychiatrist was wrong and then finally get heir ok to have a gun? it's an infringement. host: let's go to georgia, independent caller, good morning. caller: good morning. my comment is that no, we already pay too many taxes as it is. we already pay sales tax when
purchasing guns, we already pay for our license. metimes we have to pay two fees to get a license. in my county, i pay two fees to get my license. i pay for the background check and i pay for the processing of that. so probably closer to a hundred dollars. so i don't think i should have to pay more on top of that. host: and what about the proposal to use the money that could come from sales, taxes at state levels, that could go to helping with mental health services, victims? are you still with us? caller: i think that we should spend that through different ways. host: do you have any proposals? caller: specifically? right now, no, however we already have programs, yes, they
ould be stronger, however it shouldn't be at the cost of responsibility gun owners. host: ok, robert in south carolina, democrats line. hi, robert. caller: yes, good morning. so, i've been trying to get through to talk about this subject for a long time, i mean, say, the tax, that should be common sense approach to number one reducing the number of weapons and what not. ut mostly to defray the actual cost of the damage of the the ies and the deaths and mayhem that weapons, all these shootings, but on the daily basis you've got the injuries that the guns produce that have
to be taken care in the emergency rooms and what not. so to me it's a win-win situation that you tax. like cigarettes, alcohol, to just restore the actual expense, reduce the actual expense to the common taxpayer, and to me it makes a lot of sense to look at it like that. host: robert why have you wanted to call in on this issue for a while? caller: because i've seen so much discussion about this budget, social programs, so that these weapons that are being sed, they're causing damage. i mean, the medical cost for gun wounds are at a certain amount. that amount should be matched by the actual taxes, or fees or whatever people purchasing these
guns, these weapons, these ammunitions, these clips and what not. host: ok, that's robert in south carolina sharing his opinion. we're asking you whether you think that states should tax guns and ammunitions. "u.s.a. today" has a piece that say some proposals, that the fees would go towards mental health services, licensing, also victim's services. we have a conversation going on on our facebook page. here's what people are saying there --
wayne's our next caller on our republican lines. caller: hey, how y'all doing there? i haven't talked to y'all in a while. the way i look at it, there shouldn't be any tax on guns, no tax. even the discussion on gun control shouldn't be brought around because you've got the second amendment. and any kind of gun control over the second amendment is treason. people are short-minded. remember, the government is evil. remember what happened in waco, texas, remember what happened at ruby ridge. the government ain't no friendly people up there. so y'all, you need to think hese people, bloomberg and all these other idiots need to mind their own business and stay out
of other people's lives. host: here's what redneck says s twitter -- tampa, florida, independent, go ahead. caller: hi, good morning. i think there definitely should be a tax on guns and ammunition. host: at the state level? caller: at the state level, yes. because when these guns are flooded into the area, drive-by shootings, whatever, i think that the state should have money have guns that are allowed to be on the streets, the same things that we use in afghanistan and iraq are sold here, we have to think as a society who needs these guns. why are we so afraid of the
government coming for us? or are we planning to overthrow the government? maybe we should think about it that way. thank you. host: jack writes on twitter, owning guns should be considered risky behavior. taxing that behavior makes sense. robert's tweet writes why should only gun owners be the ones to pay for mental health? lawrence is a republican. hi, lawrence. caller: good morning, libby. yeah, actually i've been listening, most of the comments i had have already been made. but the tax to me is more of a punishment, that just read the comment about using the money for mental health facilities. the whole population benefits by good mental health facilities, so this is just a case of punishing one group of people. and other comments have already been made. there's already a sales tax on
dwuns and ammunition. this is an extra tax, just like all the extra taxes that have been added on gasoline. and if i may take a little more time, and this is kind of related. if you remember several years back there was a big lawsuit against the tobacco industries, and i personally was working with phillip morris at the time, and the lawsuit provided that all point of sale material that was related to tobacco, the tobacco industry, and had a dual purpose, so for instance, phillip morris was giving away backpacks or flashlights that promoted tobacco products, they all had to be destroyed. millions and millions of dollars were thrown away by the tobacco industry, and the lawsuits all were supposed to help the smokers.
1%reality, less than 1/10 of of that money went to those types of facility. basically what it did is make the lawyers rich, and we're doing the same thing now. this is a punishment tax, that's all it is. host: lawrence, you live in illinois, there's a story in cook county, people are paying an extra $25 for each weapon under a new tax that went into effect on april 1. though the tax has been challenged in court, the county board president heralded during a news conference where she was surrounded by gun safety advocates, and the clergy. what do you think of this? caller: well, when you talk about cook county, we call it crooked county here. my wife and i are getting out of the state as soon as possible. host: reading that story from "the "chicago tribune"." the $600,000 tax that they are
expected to raise this year would treat gun shot victims. we're asking you this morning whether we think the state should tax guns and ammunition. we're going to check in with capitol hill and see what's happening this week. the house and snat are returning, and here to tell us more is the senior congressional reporter from politico. good morning. caller: good morning. host: thanks for talking with us. when will we see the house and senate heat up this week? we're hearing a lot of discussion about a variety of issues from immigration to the president's budget. when do you expect to see real conversations to get started? caller: i think you're going to see a lot of the negotiations happen behind closed doors this week. a lot of decisive moments in
immigration debate that negotiaters in both the house and the senate have to decide upon, upon the immigration bill in particular. there are groups meeting in the house and the group that's meeting in the senate try to come up with a plan, bipartisan proposal that could serve as the bill going forward. so those negotiations are doing to happen behind closed doors. i don't know yet until i see actual legislation, that may be next week on that issue. but we're also going to see guns. uns is a major thing for the president, there's a background check bill in the senate being negotiated right now. he's trying to win some republican support for a compromised plan on background checks. it will not go as far as the president's call for universal background checks, but there's still a possibility of a bipartisan compromise. i will know more about that by
the middle of the week. that's going to come at the same time the president's going to release his budget on wednesday, and then of course that, the president and the white house trying to position that as the bipartisan way to get a -- on what the president has been speaking for so long. some entitlement to social security and medicare, and also include tax increases. not clear whether that will have any support from the left or the right, but that will be the central part of the debate going forward. host: we see you in "the new york times" this weekend, there's a photograph of you with senator rubio of florida. story that looks at senator rubio, and where he falls on the immigration front. who are you going to be watching this week as key players in the immigration debate? caller: well, i think he certainly is the biggest player right now. he's a guy that both sides really need in this debate to
support this immigration bill. so, if he signs onto this gang of eight bill that's being negotiated right now, it would give a lot of cover to republicans who are sort of skittish about this plan that would help this process going forward. his ultimate support is not guaranteed, even if he backs it at the initial release. going through the committee, going to go to the floor of the senate and who knows what's going to happen there. but marko rubio continues to support this bill. i think you could see a lot come n board. there are other senators in this group, it will be important to see the sign they're making this week, the progress they're making this week on the
immigration bill. chuck schumer and john mccain, both of them, the word we'll be from them will be important whether or not to determine if the bill will be released this week. host: and you mentioned that the president plans to give his budget over to congress on wednesday. we saw some battles already starting to play out. what are you going to be watching for this week as congress responds? caller: it will be interesting to see how much pushback the president gets from his own caucus. democrats and the senate and in the house, a lot of them are not so happy with his proposal, so-called chained c.p.i. which would change the rate of inflation, how inflation is calculated for social security and that would affect the cost of living for social security beneficiaries. that is something that a lot of liberals do not like. there's a lot of pushback, even
from aarp and other powerful interest groups on capitol hill. and it will be interesting to see how much pushback there is from the president's own party, from democrats, and to see whether or not that's actually enough to change and make things harder for the president to sell his package. the republicans will say look, the president needs to get out in front of these entitlement cuts in order to convince enough democrats to come on board. we'll see if republicans are recentive at all to what the president is talking about here. because as we know they have been deadset against any revenues against the senate in the house or republicans, if they do show any interest in cutting the deals on revenues, that could pave the way for a deal down the line. we'll see all that play out. don't forget, wednesday's also the day the president is having his second dinner date with senate republicans.
so it will be interesting to see what he says there and how republicans respond. host: thanks so much for talking with us. caller: thanks for having me. host: our question for you this morning is whether taxes should be levied on guns and ammunition at the state level to pay for specific programs, like mental health. "u.s.a. today," in california, an assembly member there, roger haserson, who's a democrat, introduced a bill that would add tax to the sale of every bullet.
host: rochelle what do you think? brooklyn, democrat, go ahead. caller: good morning, libby, how are you? host: good. caller: my question was will the taxes eliminate gun violence? i think it's just a smoke screen. i think it's just a distraction, ecause taxes were supposed decrease cigarette smoking, and there are no less smokers than there were before they added all the taxes to it. so i don't see the point. i think it's just a distraction, i think it's an argument to get away from the real point of what gun violence is doing, and --
host: ok, thanks rochelle for sharing your opinion. let's go to jimmy in prospect, connecticut, independent line. caller: good morning, how are you? a his point, two cents bullet isn't going to hurt. the problem that nobody's noting is that most of the gun violence is done with illegal handguns. so, why are we trying to ban these assault rifles and clips, when all the violence in chicago, throughout the country, there's more people killed with a hammer. i live in the state, it's very, very tragic. i bleed, i cried for weeks for the families. but just like the woman from brooklyn, it's a distraction. is it going to stop the illegal
handgun violence? the assault rifles, the clips, and 90% of the murders, these people going to the hospital with gun shot wounds, are illegal handguns. why can't we focus on illegal handguns? host: thank you, jimmy. the president will be in the capitol of hartford later on today. c-span will be covering his remarks there. scranton, pennsylvania, don's up next on our republican's line. good morning, don. caller: good morning, libby. as far as taxs on ammunition and guns, i think it's wrong. they talk about mental health. i agree, we do need help for the mental health, but we take enough money in from illegal narcotics and things like that, the government sees every day that pay for that. my second thought is, and i mentioned this before a long time ago, that you want to stop the crime? put the death penalty back in. and i know a lot of people agree with it. it's not the best thing to say,
but it's the truth. we had a man who worked at a prison here, state prison in this area, and he was murdered at work. he was murdered by a prisoner. they transferred the prisoner to arizona. they treated this prisoner, the inmates treated him like there was a combod. there's no deterrent. if you don't put the death penalty back in, there's no deterrent for these criminals. host: we heard the gun issue come up on talk shows this weekend. one of the commentors was senator chuck schumer of new york. he was on face the nation. let's hear what he had to say about the potential of filibuster relating to some of the regulars that's pending before the senate now. >> on this one, he has said he would allow a full-throated debate with amendments. please let us go to the floor. if we go to the floor, i'm still hopeful, of what i call the sweet spot, the background checks, can succeed. we have a few ideas that might
modify the proposal that we put in there, as long as they don't impair the effectiveness on entertaining those and hopefully people will rise to the occasion. host: senator chuck schumer. we're asking you about whether states should tax guns and ammunitions. sandy's our next caller on our democrats line. hi, sandy. caller: hi there. i'm kind of saying about the same thing, only a little more indepth than the guy from connecticut. 95% or better of the illegal acts that happen with guns are by not the registered owner of the gun, but an illegal gun. how are you going to tax them? why should i pay a tax for someone else's crime? that is absolutely ridiculous. i think they should have to somehow, when they get their sentence to go to jail, they should work in prison for their five cents an hour, or whatever
they get and every penny should go to the victim. host: all right. we heard from senator schumer about gun legislation before the senate. let's take a look at the story from the associated press that says democrats and republican senator are working on a deal to expand background checks, boosting gun control hopes. talks have emerged as the most promising route for expanding federal background checks for gun buyers.
host: we saw senator john mccain talking about the question of the filibuster. this is relating to what we just heard senator schumer. let's hear what senator mccain had to say. >> so you encourage republicans -- >> i would not only encourage it, i don't understand it. what are we afraid of? why would we not want -- if this issue is as important as all of us think it is, why not take it on the world's great -- that's the greatest exaggeration in history by the way. but why not take it up in amendment and debate? the american people will profit from it. why united states want to block debate when the leader has said that we can have amendments. host: senator john mccain on face the nation. the hill reports that a number g.o.p. lawmakers, including senator rande paul of kentucky have written to harry reid vowing they would propose the
motion to -- they would oppose the motion to proceed to any legislation that will serve as hicle -- it will go to programs like mental health and victims services. we're seeing this story in "u.s.a. today," looking at what some states are making motions to do, or what members of state legislators are looking at. here's that head line. let's go to drew in leaseburg, georgia on our independent line. caller: i just wanted to say that you're a lovely vision every morning and you do an extraordinary job handling calls. host: that's very nice. what do you think about this? caller: it is a lie, a farce, completely unconstitutional and never addresses the serious mental health issues. the lie is that we will trust our government to do what they say they're going to do with the
tax. that's why we have a second amendment, that's why the wording was put in so there will not be an infringement on the right to keep and bear arms. the people who are impacted by the tax are 90% law-abiding citizens who have never hurt anybody, never committed a crime or every done anything illegal with their ammunition except practice and target shoot on the weekend or deer hunt or use the ammunition for self defense and that would put an extremely chilling effect on people buying ammunition. i can tell you for a fact we have a small, local police department here that is really, really strapped for cash and they currently cannot afford to buy the ammunition for the police officers to practice with. host: drew, what are your thoughts, mental health services, victim services, things like that. we've had a couple of callers propose where they thought such funding should come from those programs. do you have thoughts on that? caller: obviously the politicians say they're going to tax everybody's ammunition, they're going to use that directly to help the victims of
crime. what it sounded like, specifically the one in connecticut was, that they were going to use it for indy gent care. if you were a taxpayer in a specific county who raised taxes through fire arms or ammunition sales, if you were shot by an intruder or name i by some criminal, then that money would not be specifically used for that care. so you paid the ammunition tags, and you paid for the mental health, supposedly to be used for that. you get hurt or injured by someone using illegal fire arms, you're paying for everybody else's crime. host: thank you drew, calling us from georgia. cincinnati, ohio is up next. hi, ronald. caller: good morning. host: good morning. what do you think about this issue? caller: no new taxes, especially just to penalize gun owners. i want to reiterate one reason, do you remember what paul revere was saying back in 1775?
and why he was screaming that the british were coming? host: tell us your thoughts. caller: the british were coming to take our guns and we were mad over the taxes! and what are we discussing this morning? guns and taxes! it's history repeating itself! host: ronald in ohio. tom is in indiana on our democrats line. good morning, tom. caller: good morning libby, and good morning america. this is a democrat who doesn't want to be taxed anymore, at the state level at all. we know who needs to be taxed. don't we? those that have the money. the general public doesn't have any money. wouldn't you agree, libby? host: well, i'm here to listen to your opinions, tom. what do you think about the specific issues of targeting guns? does it concern you philosophically or is it the
larger issue of taxation in general? caller: no, it's a distraction. this is a complex problem. i think most of it has to do with the video industry, which these idiots watch, these shoot-emup dwuns. i know, because my brother was addicted to those video games. the shoot em up gun game 30 years ago. well, make it 20, over 20 years ago. so that is the problem, but you know as far as taxing us out of away, em, taking our amo you know, we reload, ok? we don't have a problem. host: how did your brother deal with what you called an addiction to violent videogames? caller: he wouldn't even let me play the game. host: is he still addicted to
it? caller: i don't know, i'm estranged, i really couldn't tell you. i looked over his shoulder, he never once let me play the game. i wouldn't be interested in playing the game because it addicts to you what they call pink mist. we remember what that looks like. i hate to think of the president kennedy assassination. we understand what that is. but i want to tell you america, especially those people that play videogames, there is more, thrrs less,s there less blood on the killing room floor in a slaughterhouse. you go into any slaughterhouse, and you have somebody addicted to videogames, take them to a slaughterhouse on kill day. you'll see how humanely our food chain works. host: ok, we're talking about whether or not states should tax guns and ammunition. here are some other stories in the news. this one related to the question of guns.
in connecticut, 28,000 guns handed over since newtown. more than 60 buybacks held in the aftermath of the connecticut massacre. this is looking at gun buybacks all over the country, not just in connecticut. after the december school hooting in newtown, one couple dug into their pockets and fered $2,500 for gun buyback program through the police department in their hometown. at least a dozen more buybacks are planned in the coming weeks. that's according to analysis by "u.s.a. today."
host: we mentioned that president obama will be heading to connecticut later on today. c-span will be watching that as well, as well as the return to congress. we'll see the house and senate come back to washington after the easter and passover break. here's a story from "u.s.a. today," parties are regrouping for a debate over raising the debt limit. another story in the "new york times," president obama must walk a fine line as congress takes up its agenda. the days ahead could be decisive ones for the main pieces of president obama's second term adwenda. long-range deficit reduction, gun safety and changes to
immigration law. well, we saw this happen over the weekend, in a grim afghan day, a u.s. official dies. the world news section of the "wall street journal" says the state department is still reeling from the u.s. am ambassador to libya last fall. they're now mourning the death of a 25-year-old diplomat, she was killed on a mission with the u.s. military in southern afghanistan. five other americans were killed in the same attack. and you can see an image of her, she was a diplomat and she was trying to deliver books to a school. the secretary of state john kerry has slammed cowardly terrorists. it says in the washington times that secretary kerry railed against the cowardly terrorist responsible for the attack that killed americans in afghanistan, including a selfless, idealistic young diplomat on a mission to donate books to students. looking at the issue of i will lyle immigration, "wall street
journal" says many who are here illegally overstayed their visa. others who entered legitimately account for 40% who are here legally. and overcrowded planes have air passengers increasingly frustrateds, tells the times we're asking you about states and whether they should tax guns and munition as a way to pay for programs. tom from maryland is up next. hi, tom. caller: thanks for taking my call. i'm just going to make a very brief analogy. you and i, we have to drive our automobiles with insurance, because our automobiles, could hurt somebody. so, you know, i think we need to get smart here and think about, for the long-term, we have a revenue problem. we've got all these events that are happening.
let's be smart when we talk about gun control, not only tracking ammunitions and weapons, but let's make things like a mandatory health assessment, i don't know two years, three years, every few years you might get it done. let's talk about having a separate writer for gun owners. now, you have a jewelry writer if you have jewelry in the house. i ransom numbers on this, it would be be billions of dollars. we have to start thinking smarter and more creatively. no one's saying we're going to take away guns, we're saying we need smart solutions to the issues we have today. host: tom in maryland. let's go to kevin in iowa, democrats line. hi kevin. caller: hi, your last caller i would like to agree with him. i am a hunter. i pay a little more on my gun and ammunition if it went to a tax. if it did actually go to help
out mental care because gun shootings, like we had in newtown, where the guns were bought by legit people and all that stuff, and it just a member of the household who wasn't stable got ahold of that gun and used it for violence things, and i think if the violence would have been taken care of before, mentally issues you know and thought that there would be the people ple -- who own the guns and amos will take the burden. host: all right, kevin sharing
his personal opinion and perspective. kevin, you said you're a hunter? caller: correct. host: how much do you budget for guns and ammunitions, things like that. how does it rack up in terms of your personal budget? caller: well, i don't buy a gun every year. i have a gun for a while, stuff like that. ammunition, i budget maybe like 20-$25 per hunting season. depends on how much you shoot is how much you go through. don't use or deer, i that much amo. i've had amo that i've had for years because you don't shoot at everything you see. host: all right kevin, thank you. roger city, michigan, tom, deabt caller. hi, tom. caller: thank you very much for listening to me this morning.
i've got a comment here. i'm a gun owner and i'm a hunter since i've been 10 years old. i've got about seven guns, they are all single shot, with the exception of a .22 magnum. but i want to make a comment here. sandy hook really was, is the deadliest school shooting in our history as we know it. but back in 1890 the united states government shot and killed over 290 unarmed indians at school, including over 200 women and children. and we, how quickly we forget our history the native americans they gave up their guns at that time too. and then what we must remember is it's not the gun, it's the people. single shot guns you have to shoot a lot of times. we don't really need the assault
rifles. i never had to use one in all my years of hunting and i'm 69 years old. host: what do you think of the question of taxing at the state level? caller: that's just another cover-up to draw more taxes out. it's not going to solve any problems. there's a lot of people that i can including myself, we make our own guns or ammunition. i can reload it right here in my house. and a lot of our hunters and hunter friends do the same things. including shock shells, pistol shells. it's a ridiculous way of letting the excuse for the state to be able to tax us. thank you. host: thank you. stella says stand up and fight this infringement. our right to personal protection are being eaten away inch by inch.
jonathan, republican, good morning. hi jonathan. ller: in some parts of the state, i would be happy to give tax money to re-enforce the border. there's 20 million, not 11 million illegal aliens roaming with impugnity in our communities. we don't know who they are. are they ms-13, are they murderers, rapists, whatever? at the same time they're letting this illegal population roam freely in our community, they're criminalizing u.s. citizens. so we find that hypocritical at best. host: jonathan, let's get back to the questions of taxing state guns and ammunitions. caller: i think it's a syntax. everybody's very hyper sensitive here in ridge field, and around in connecticut.
i think this thing when it dies down, i think people will come to their senses. we all feel horrific about what happened in sandy hook. the pal in the air around christmas time was palpable. everywhere you went. i think the approach is misguided. host: you said people will come to their senses. what does that mean to you? caller: well, i think this is an overreaction to what happened in newtown, and they're attacking, or they're attacking the wrong group of people. when the time comes, i have a, what will soon be retroactively deemed an assault rifle. i have every intention of going down and registering it, and registering the two clips that i have. this is a fire arm that was given to me by my father many, many years ago. you know, i just think in
retroactive manner how they've approached this in connecticut is very unfair. and tax wise, no, i think we pay enough taxes. you don't seem to get a lot for your tax money. and i just want to say it also underscores the fact that my government cannot protect me, but because of this illegal alien soft invasion that took place. so anyway, libby, that's all i have to say here. i'm very nervous and i can't believe i actually got on. ok? host: we appreciate everyone trying to get through here, the phone lines if you would like to oin this conversation. you can also comment on our witter and facebook pages.
here's what patricia write -- bely is in vermont, democrats line. welcome. caller: hi. host: hi. caller: i just wanted to bring up the subject of money. no one seems to mention that, it seems like that is one of the big basis for this whole problem. who do you think is making all the money on the gun and gun sales and so forth? people are just buying it up and the tax on bullets and stuff, i don't think it's going to be anymore than it was on anything else. ii don't know, it seems to me that people fight and fight about the dumb things.
just look in the mirror, like the guy on 60 minutes last night, said look in the mirror and think about your own family, your own children going to school. d we're making schools shooting galleries. i mean, it's just not right and we should all get together and try to form some kind of consensus of right or wrong. and having guns that shoot a lot of people is definitely wrong. i know the metal thing and so forth, that's another problem that people just don't seem to address. at the bottom level. and it should be, and that's a big problem. but, i don't know, i don't know how it's going to be solved but it certainly takes the heart out out of most of us. host: beverly, do you own any guns? have you ever been a gun owner? caller: my family all had guns.
we hunted from the time we were little kids. i have no guns now. i have no need. i don't want one. i live out in the country, i have nobody to protect me, as it were. i have just, believe in the lord, i guess. but i mean i live in the country, i'm a country person, i know, i've been around guns all my life. but this new type of guns that just, they bother me. because i grew up with rifles, and shot guns and so forth. people went hunting. these guns they are shooting it's of ammunition like, unbelievable to me. i just can't comprehend why it's necessary. host: let's go to philadelphia,
pn, hear from dan who's an independent. hi, dan. caller: how you doing? first time caller, be a little nervous. i think the real issue is the drug war, and i think we should tax the cities, or fine the cities that have the most gun violence, which i'm in one, philadelphia. i guess it would also be detroit, and also, you know, they have a way to tax illegal workers. they have a special six-digit number. you would do that with drug sales. the politicians would get tons of money, maybe they would leave us alone. i think that's really the crux of the problem. i think this sandy hook, it was sad, but we have more people killed in philadelphia in one to , it pales in comparison sandy hook. street, a few
mayors back, and he said this is a drug war. these killings are part of a drug war and it will end when the drug war ends. when one gang wipes out the most of another gang, that's when the shooting stops. that's exactly what happened here. but it started up again. so these guys kick up a ruckus every once in a while and they fight over the turf. host: n.y.c. person tweets in nd writes -- tom responded with a tweet, just barely, writes expanding background checks will limit the ways people who can't legally wn a gun can obtain a gun. e see tom commenting here. you can join our twitter page. plenty of the events that c-span
will be covering today is navy league conference focused on the future of mare time services. representatives from the navy, coast guard nd will speak at the neighy league conference. they will talk about issues related to the flavey. tomorrow morning we have a special show, we'll be out at the naval academy. you can join us live there tomorrow morning. among those we'll hear from, the secretary of the navy, also we'll be talking with senator john mccain. right now our topic is guns and ammunitions whether it should be taxed at the state level. bob's our next caller. caller: hey, how you doing? host: good, how are you. caller: first time caller, thanks for c-span. i think the biggest part of the state tax, just like the seven shot clip limit in new york, it's really an underhanded, or
backhanded way of limiting fire arms. i think they're trying to basically price people out of being able to purchase fire arms. the casual hunter who maybe doesn't make a lot of money. i grew up in western pennsylvania, the hunting culture was huge. i think if you put a big enough tax on it like a lot of cities or urban yearso trying to do, or put a big enough tax on ammunition, people won't be able to afford that. put a seven-shot clip limit, and basically, it makes illegal about 95% of the semi automatic handguns out there. i think the other part is that if you tax it and they say they're going to use it for mental health, seen a lot of legislators, they have a hard time segregating tax funds and saying these taxes will go to a certain cause. they then use it to pay other bills when times get tough. so, i think that's the biggest issue here is that you know,
they're basically trying to ban fire arms in an underhanded way without saying they're banning fire arms. host: ok. bob, let me ask you one follow-up. if you had assurances that this wasn't moving towards a ban, or trying to codify and prove that to you, would that change your opinion? caller: i don't think so, because i think what they're trying to do, you increase it a little bit, and now you go hey, all of a sudden senator feinstein proposed a tax on every fire arm. your average working american who wants to buy a hunting weapon, you know, can no longer afford to buy a hunting weapon. if you add $200 to the price of shotgun. a lot of people who make a decent living it's not an issue. but for a lot of americans, it would be an issue. host: ok, that's bob calling us. we'll take another call in just
a moment but we wanted to share this with you first. cnn.com has this news. cnn is reporting that the former british prime minister margaret thatcher has died. you can see that here at the top of cnn's website, according to her sperns -- to her spokesperson. we're asking you about states, taxing guns and amo. paul's up next. i, paul. caller: i think this proposed tax on ammunition would be if ammunition is just singled out would probably be uninstitutional. i agree with your previous caller, tom. i think it's just another way to infringe on rights. at if people had to pay five dollar tax to make a phone call to you to get on the air to
express our opinion? would that violate the first amendment? i think it clearly would. host: paul what do you think about this? u.s.a. is saying they're looking to tax as a way to raise money for mental health and victim services, also licensing. how would you pay for things like that? caller: well, i think if they want to go that route, they an clearly pay for maybe extreme tax on violent videogames, well, maybe some other items like that. i just don't think it's the way to go. i think you have to be straight with people. i think if you're coming after their guns, directly or indirectly, i think there's some constitutional issues that have to be solved. obviously the problem is not with the gun. the problem is with people who
ave mental problems. lope independent caller. how are you? aller: i want to send out my heartfelt condolences to people in sandy hook, and people all over the country who lost someone from someone who went off the deep end. ammunition and guns, some states already do that. and they use to money to, you know, put it in what they call it? there's an official federal program. anyway, i would be in favor of a tax on ammunition components and guns if they use the tax, and i've been proposing this for the ast 45 years, i've been an n.r.a. safe gun instructor for 45 years, i still propose this
that anyone who wants to apply for any kind of fire arm permit will have to take a psychological background check to find out what's in their background, is there a to see the reason that they want to purchase the firearm. i would be an favor of a tax at the money is used specifically for that purpose and that purpose only. that is where i stand on the issue. on some we follow-up of the questions that we are seeing on twitter and other places like that, here is what one person has written -- host: what to do think about
that? caller: we already do that for a bunch of different tragedies that have occurred in our society already. sites taxes on goods and ammunition, we already tax things like cigarettes, alcohol, and there are a lot of other taxes as well. i would be willing to pay a few dollars taxes every year on the cost of ammunition and to purchase firearms. i do not have any more guns or ammunition. i am out of that. i was even a gun dealer at one time. oft: there is the question mental health and making sure people are healthy and sane before they are allowed to buy a gun. who would set the standard or create the checklist that people would have to pass? caller: i think you should have an independent panel of professional people from all across the spectrum of professionals, like one lawyer,
one politician -- have a board of five so nobody can get deadlocked in a vote. a five or seven-member board that would review each application, strictly on its own merits, on the persons background. that is it. that is what i i think should be done. host: new york, republican, go ahead. , thank you, ma'am for c-span. i have some statistics here. am a gun owner, just for hunting, of course. i do not overuse it. about taxes. but the problem in america is because they do not have enough taxes. the atrocities that have gone on have been sad. thethe largest part of
cause of death in america, and this is from the statistics from the centers for disease control. cancer, heart disease. 33% abortions. that is the biggest cause of death in america. then there are all other cases. 996 thousand 500 dollars spent per day on abortions in the united states. i think they should double the tax on the person performing the abortion and then they will collect the money they are hoping to get. host: this was written in -- attacks bullets like we tax cigarettes? it is an insult. remember the tax lies on lotteries for education?
cnn was reporting that margaret thatcher, former prime minister, has died. here is "the telegraph" from the united kingdom. margaret thatcher dies of stroke, aged 87. she died after suffering a stroke. that is according to her family. and daughter confirmed that she died this morning. spokesman says it is with great sadness that they announce that their mother died peacefully following a stroke this morning. a further statement will be made later. "the telegraph" reminds of says -- as of some history. known as the iron lady, margaret thatcher governed britain from seven -- 1979 to 1990. she transformed britain's economy and was a formidable rival on the international stage. she left behind a set of ideas about the role of the state
which other leaders and nations strove to copy and apply. call from our next michigan on our democrats line. we are talking about taxing guns and ammo at the state level. what do you think? caller: i do think that guns and ammunition should definitely be taxed. maybe, like the man from maine said, they would be discouraged from buying these guns and discouraged from buying ammunition. he also said that they should .ass a mental capacity test as far as who can make up that test and who should be over that test or something like that, the government will have to definitely figure that out, because i do not want, and i am sure a lot of other people do not want anything to happen like what happened that sandy hook or that theater. i truly believe that maybe this tax will discourage some people. we have to find some kind of idea to get these guns under
control and stuff like that. your ok, thank you for perspective. in independent caller from minnesota. good morning. should taxes be on guns and ammunition? i have two answers. first, if a taxes put on there for the purpose of deterring people from buying guns, it would be an infringement of our right to bear arms. second, if it is a tax for states to gain money, think about doing what everybody else in this country has to do, live within your budget. host: what do you think about this idea of using that money to pay for programs and mental health services, victims services, should money be drawn from another pool to pay for those? are they worth funding? caller: i have to say no one of that. lives need to learn to
within their budget. the boston tea party -- [indiscernible] our government is doing the same thing that written did to us 200 years ago. states have delivered there and their budget, stop spending money -- states have to live within their budget, stop spending money they do not have. you cannot spend money you ain't got. the rest of the country has to live within their means. host: zack, a republican caller. .aller: thanks for having me on my first question really is, and there is not an answer or solution to the problem, but what would be the real purpose of the taxation? why do we need more? host: here is what some of the stories are saying. "usa today" showing us some of the states considering these taxes will use them to pay for
victim services, to help those who were hurt in shooting. also, mental health services and then licensing. what do you think about that? caller: that is already something we should have and place. in the ems field and law enforcement, a lot of these are all ready for people. the taxation is just another excuse to impose taxation that is not needed. these are already things that are available. why do need more taxation for it? we have all these budget cuts that really are not doing what they need to do. the real budget cut needs to come. my own state -- the real budget cuts need to come from my own state senator's pockets. they need to provide to the people of their state. we do not need to impose more taxes on the people. the more taxes we put on, they give us false representation for these taxes. what it boils down to is taxation with out raspberry -- without representation. host: we will take our next
call. yeah, if you go by a pistol or a handgun, you had to go to the sheriffs department and they will run a background check on you. if you are a felon or something, you do not get it. if you go by a rifle, the guy that runs the gun store, he has to take down all the information and run a background check on it. then you can come back and if you pass the background check, you get the gun. if you did not, you do not get it. host: all right, that is james in north carolina. cannes an north carolina, independent caller. caller: first, i would like to say that i have watched the program for over 10 years as the program has matured, aliens an awful lot towards conservatives.
as an independent, i would like to see more parity on both sides of the issue. i am a firm believer that we are hearing an awful lot of idle noise from people basically saying that guns do not kill people, people do. i am a firm believer that we all have to be licensed to drive an automobile. the same applies. automobiles do not kill, people do. people die every day in automobile accidents. i think we need to have laws in place that actually have people get licenses to own guns. ,s far as taxes on ammunition absolutely. i think we need to increase taxes on that area as well. thank you very much. host: thanks for your call. thanks for all your calls. coming up next, we will look at what is on the agenda of congress and the white house with chris cillizza of the
washington post. later, jess bravin joins us to discuss his new book on secret outside commissions guantánamo bay we will be right back. >> they had a very political marriage, much like john and abigail. in the hallslobby of congress. she was always very careful to say my husband believed this and my husband advocates that. but she herself was doing the pitch. and one of her husband's opponents said that he hoped that if james were ever elected president, she would take up
housekeeping like a normal woman. and she said if james and i are ever elected, i will need -- i will neither keep house nor make butter. >> tonight, sarah polk. we will also look at her successors. we will take your questions and comments by phone, facebook, and twitter. first ladies tonight on c-span and c-span three. also on c-span radio and c- span.org. >> the fcc is actually structured the way things used to be. a wired division and a wireless division. it is required by congress on the state of wireless, and the hidden assumption behind that congressional direction is that the wireless market is somehow separate from the wired market. in fact, in the world of broadband, these two have
increasingly converged. >> one thing that stands in the way of telcos pushing out their network is, unlike the cable companies, the telcos are beholden to a special tax, sometimes called the legacy regulations. the telcos maintained two separate networks. a copper network for our grandparents who insist on having a copper landline telephone. and a broadband network. the problem with that is that this is a diversion of the resources. it is not a trivial diversion. it is significant. if they were freed from those obligations, they would have billions of dollars to go back and invest and expand into broadband networks. >> finding a redneck for developing broadband in the u.s., tonight on "the communicators." >> "washington journal" continues. >> chris cillizza is our guest from "the washington post." thanks for being here this morning. guest: i apologize for being
slightly late. we're glad to have have you here. this is from this morning -- the senate is getting a house makeover. is the senate becoming more like the house? and what does that mean? guest: almost half of the senate, 48 members of the senate, 26 democrats, 22 republicans, are former house members. not terribly surprising. and make sense, but is going high number. second, the most important statistic as you have a huge number of people who have spent basically one term or less in this is the wave of the senate, and that is not have we do things. the sort ofave institutional wisdom from kennedy and others. you have a lot of people who have literally defined the institution for the last five or six decades gone, and in
their place there are a lot of people who are brand-new. it it is a totally different senate than even five years ago definitely than 10 years ago. host: what does it mean for americans who are watching? watchingat you are happen is probably a lot less than what you were watching have been in the past. it has become much more partisan chris wilson at yahoo! did an amazing thing. he did this great thing that showed the clumping of members. he found 25 democrats had voted the same way on every single vote, every single vote, this year. two are clumped in these clumps. you have lisa murkowski from alaska and suzanne collins from maine in between. and everybody else sort of polarizing. so the senate is acting more like the house. the house traditionally his
majority rules. if you are in the minority, you do not have good options. that is sort of where we are in the senate today. now there is opportunity. you have the gun bill. immigration. the debt ceiling. and the budget more broadly. so there is real opportunity for them, them being the senate, to make change, to do things differently. but if you look at the first three months, up until they return this week, it has been the second house, for lack of a better work. chris cillizza from "the washington post." here are the numbers to call. republican -- find chris on msnbc. in the a recent piece washington post looking at the president's budget. this is obama's budget would cut
entitlements in exchange for tax increases. it is getting blowback from members of his own hardy. chris van hollen says i have tactical interns and substantive concerns. break it down for us. is the president positioning himself in a way that is strategic? is there a story behind the story here? in politics, you should never read almost anything at face value. i would say this, you have to remember that the president's sort of broad agenda and goals are different than house and senate democrat's broad agenda and goals. he never has to worry about getting reelected again. the house and the senate, with the exception of folks who are retiring, do not have that luxury. they will have to get reelected again. it is fascinating that he was on the record, quoted with skepticism there, because chris
van hollen is a guy who is the ranking member on the budget committed -- committee, someone who clearly has interest in being speaker of the house sunday, and someone who is quite close to the obama administration. , democratss this broadly tend to believe that barack obama usually negotiates with himself. he sort of has this public back and forth and then proposes something that is sort of 65% to 70% of what he likes as opposed to something that is 100% of what he likes, and lets republicans moves. then you wind up getting 65% of what you like. their argument is that if you start at 65%, the chances of getting 35% is much higher. pulldown entitlement, cut entitlement reforms, in hopes of luring republicans into agreeing to tax increases. their argument would be, look, you just got reelected to a
second term. we controlled the senate. republican approval ratings are kind of and the journalist/trial lawyer area. why are we negotiating with ourselves? let's say we want tax increases and we are not going to do increases entitlement -- in entitlements. why would we propose something that is kind of middle of the road, maybe a little bit in president obama's favor, but much more of a compromised document then either paul ryan's plan or patty murray's plan? that is the criticism. host: there is a writing about whether or not the president expects republicans to buy his offer, an idea of compromise to me giving a little on taxes.ments for some on what do you think the reaction of republicans will be? guest: i think republicans have been clear, john boehner has been clear, that it has to be a dollar for revenue for a dollar
on spending. look, the senate is an interesting debate, but remember, republicans controlled the house. ultimately, this is a conversation going on to join the white house anheuser publicans. the question for john boehner is -- we saw this with the fiscal cliff. we saw it during the fiscal cliff debate. john but -- john boehner gave his plan be. we will raise taxes on those who make $1 million or more. he wanted to go to the president and say, look, we passed something, you need to come to the table. he cannot get enough votes to bring it to the floor. john boehner, as speaker, particularly back then, is someone who may not be able to direct the caucus. that is a big issue. we do not know what republicans want. just because john boehner says
maybe we will make a deal and maybe we will not, we really are not sure what direction -- can he lead his conference? that is the fundamental question. call on thee a republicans line from new york. caller: hello. -- i guess we changed what we are commenting about, but i just wanted to say that i e-mailed by senator, and under her e-mail, you can only e-mail her under gun violence. i told her the guns i have are not causing violence. they are mostly used for protection. i do not like the way -- my senator is kristin jewel brand -- chris -- kristin giller brent -- i do not like how they onnot give your categories
what you can say to them. host: how often do you reach out to your representative or senator's? guest: only on the gun issue. i have not bothered sending them anything else. i would like to say that in new york state we have the safe act, and if you look at a map in new york state that shows letters asking for the safe act to be virtually every county in upstate new york. the only place that has not asked i guess is new york city. now the villages and towns are actually sending letters also. they are not asking for it to be amended. they are asking for it to be repealed. first of all, as to how the senator's website works, i can barely make my own website
work. but he brings up something that often gets lost in the gun debate that should not, which is the passion. is a levelr senator of intensity and passion. there are a million things people can do on a given day, and most people do not go on the website to do that or send a letter. the passion are people who want, as he does, who believe that their gun rights should be preserved is significant. since newtown, we have seen the passion on the side of folks that want to expand the ground -- the would like to passion has risen. people look at the polling, and they say 85% of people want to expend the background checks. why is this an issue in congress? a couple things. one, culturally and geographically, a lot of the members, people like arkansas,
louisiana, and montana members come from conservative states were gun rights are important. and in politics, passion matters so much. it is so critically important. a lot of people see the nra and very passionate people who want to preserve their gun rights on one side. on the other side, they see people who would like gun rights to be restricted. they would like expanded background checks. they would like the assault weapons ban. but passionate verses alike is uneven when it comes to politics. passion matters so much. you look at the numbers we get every day and say, why is this happening and why is that happening? look at the intensity numbers. host: you mentioned the house and how it is a republican majority. we are seeing gun legislation floated in the senate now, as
well as a potential deal that we're hearing a a little bit about in your paper. senator joe manchin, senator pat twoey -- how much power do men like this really have? guest: this is fascinating. i wrote about this this morning. i wrote about pat toomey this morning. joe manchin makes sense. this is someone from west virginia. someone who, in ads when he was running for the senate, he heots with a weapon -- shoots a piece of legislation that president obama has proposed. this is a democrat, just as a reminder. this is someone who comes from a cold drink -- culturally conservative states who has to distance himself from the president. pat toomey is an interesting one. 2012, widely accepted as the
gold standard -- pat toomey is the fourth most conservative senator. is the president of the club for growth, a fiscally conservative and active group in washington. not some and typically that you would think of as a dealmaker, as interest dealmaker. but hat to me is smart politically. you do not get elected to the senate by accident. 2016.up for reelection in 2016 is a presidential election year. -- path w bush, 1988 toomey looks at the electric and he says, to win, i have to do well in the philadelphia suburbs area. suburban voters are in favor of more gun control. if he wants to be involved in a deal, he would like to be involved in it. people have to remember that
politics does not exist without policy, and policy definitely does not exist without politics. that is what is going on here. but i do find to me -- toomey s decision to get involved at the last minute as fascinating. if you can't broke -- broker a deal, you will see ads in 2016 about that. host: chris cillizza see from "the washington post." we have a call from our democrats line. taking myank you for call. what i really do not understand in listening to your guest explain how the budget is determined tom a why are people asking the president to play games with the budget that he wants? why does he have to go 100% and then come back to 60%, 70%, asking the republicans to play a
?ame the president said he was willing to compromise. the republicans are adults. they were elected leaders. why does he have to play this game with them. why does he not just tried to lead, like most people would expect him to? they have said no on everything that this president has offered. host: ok, let's get a response. guest: she points to something that i think a lot of people, and i put my parents were not political in this category -- why do you have to propose something that ultimately you do not think is going to pass just to try -- i understand that. there is a horsetrading element of politics. if you think it is new to these republicans are this president of the united states, go and watch the movie "lincoln" by steven spielberg. the horse trading to get
anything done always existed in washington. republicans have proposed something and they always say no. senate democrats, patty murray, proposed a budget that included $1 trillion in new revenue. in this regard, they have proposed things that are unlikely to pass. president obama, i think he is with you, honestly. his approach is, look, i want to be the honest broker in the spirit remember what i said earlier, and this is so important, house and senate democrats want to get as much as they can are the base of the party and what is good for them and reelection in 2014, which is not that far away. president obama wants to have a legacy as someone who saw this country's long-term debt and spending issues. his lunch -- his budget is likely to be the one that moves, frankly, but it will be more of a compromise because he wants a
deal. i do not know of house republicans and senate democrats actually want a deal, particularly if it looks like the other guy's package. president obama wants a deal because if he can say to people 20 gears -- years down the road, look, i figured out a way to solve it. was it perfect? no, but i brought it in. that is what he wants. that is why his budget document is that centerish piece. in the credits, chris van hollen among them, would prefer 90% so that the horse trading which they believe is inevitable, so that when that horse trading happens, does not water it down to something they would rather almost not have pass. host: betty joins us on our independent line, south carolina. good morning. i am more democrat than independent, but i am independent, two. i would like to say one thing.
i live down here in charleston, south carolina, beautiful part of the city. i am in low income senior housing. to get to the point, i only moved here for the climate. i am originally from sandy hook, connecticut. i moved here from dan berry, but i grew up in sandy hook. my daughter was working in one school that day. my grandson was in the high school, and god blessed me with my family being safe, but i have cried and cried on and off, even today, and pray for those parents. and for these republicans -- i mean, i am very, very proud of my state. my home state. my policies and politics are from connecticut. we have got the worst policies and politicians down here. ?ost: what would you do you talked about your emotional connection with what happened in newtown. what would you like to see changed? to see i would like
them follow my state of connecticut. i am very proud of the state of connecticut and what they did. , we see this story in 28,000 gunsabout handed over since newtown. raised inas born and connecticut. my parents live in connecticut. that he, i love that you are from connecticut and feel that way at heart. , frankly, isa beautiful. what happened in connecticut and what you have seen in states, and this is important, holler auto and connecticut -- colorado and connecticut, maryland as well, have passed more stringent gun laws since newtown. columbine, hugely high-profile, awful instances, and connecticut obviously has newtown. the question is, in states not
affected directly, in states where someone cannot say my grandson was in the school, my daughter teaches there, can the momentum be kept up up? that is the issue. look, we are a couple months away from newtown at this point. the assault weapons ban, which many gun rights advocates wanted included in that senate bill, is not in it. the ban on high-capacity clips, which many gun control advocates wanted in it, is not in it. everything rides on expanding background checks. that is the big killer. yes, more school funding for safety measures is in it. but the big measure is expanding background checks. the question is, does it happen? i think had to me and joe manchin talking is encouraging -- pat toomey and joe manchin talking is encouraging. i think many members of .ongress want this but this is a state-by-state,
geographic, cultural issue. .y in-laws live in texas their father gave them their first gun when they were children. it is not seen in the way, and i am from connecticut, my parents, i have never owned a gun. my parents do not own a gun. but it is part of the cultural fabric. if you are in texas, you do not understand how people in connecticut thing. if you're in connecticut, you do not understand how people in texas thing. good people disagree on this, and that is why we see congress struggle so much with it. valentine in silver spring, maryland, our democrats line. welcome. there is the doument -- when politicians things -- [indiscernible]
what is wrong with the background check? why can you not do a background check? it does not make sense. they want this country to succeed. thisyou think about argument very seriously, republicans, they are just -- i am not here to insult anybody. but they behave like they do not care. there ands leave it get a response from chris cillizza. guest: you are right in this, 90% of people, sometimes 85%, sometimes 87%, sometimes 91%, support some level of expanded background checks. so there is clear public sentiment for expanded background checks.
as always in politics and life, the devil is in the details here. how expanded? is there a registry? what cells are precluded? are any cells precluded from background checks? that is the issue here. , this is still think the optimist in me, anything that usually has 90% support, anything, congress passes. one of those things. someess is you will see form of expanded background checks pass, simply because the public support is there. the question is, how strong, we ak, or in the middle are they? i do not think it will be universal. are precluded from that?
, 85%, or 83% of the public agree on something, congress almost always moves in that direction. , tellbefore we let you go us about how things are going at the washington post -- how often do you file? guest: we now have what we call and in formal strikeforce and we're going to get t-shirts or tattoos. a strikeforce of people who file, about seven people strong. we have someone who covers the white house. we have someone who covers congress who is writing a congressional preview, the five things to watch in congress. we have that every monday that congress is in session. have all been part of this fixed family for a while now. honestly, i have need of little thirdand it is like a
child in that we started this in 2005, just me. it has grown. it is hermetically rewarding. i would encourage folks, if you care about the politics, policy, check it out. we do some fun stuff, you can see there -- i do the 2016 bracket competition. georgetown is my all modern, and they felt the need to lose in the first round to the sender louella -- cinderella story, so i needed something to keep my bracket a life. potential democrats against 16 potential republicans. we narrowed it down to hillary clinton on the democratic side and marco rubio the republican side. that is my writing, by the way. we did online voting all the way through. we will announce the winner this morning. my attitude about politics is it is serious, it matters, it
has real consequences, but there is a zipline and -- a sublime and ridiculous side to it. we have to laugh at politics, and i laugh at myself quite regularly. that is my 32nd pitch. , author of cillizza "the fix." you can see him as a contributor on msnbc also. thank you. coming up next, we will talk with jess bravin. you have probably seen him on this program before. he is talking about his new book about secret military commissions at guantánamo bay. the terror courts. later on, your money segment focuses on a new report on the cost of the wars in iraq and afghanistan likely to total $4 trillion to $6 trillion. now this news update from c-span radio. >> there is reaction from the , reactiont journal this morning to the death of former british prime minister
margaret thatcher. margaret thatcher, the iron lady, as was arguably england possibly does political name since winston churchill. overseas reaction, david cameron says that britain has lost a great leader, a great prime minister, a great britain. according to his spokesman, the current redish prime minister, david cameron, is cutting short his trip to to britain following the death of margaret faster a passed away this morning at the age of 87 after suffering a stroke. other news, secretary of state john kerry is in meetings today with benjamin netanyahu and other senior israeli and palestinian officials. he is having to modify a decade- old arab plan that has been long greeted with skepticism by the jewish state. this is the day after meeting one-on-one with palestinian president mahmoud abbas. he spent the morning today at israel's holocausts number ,oyal, laying down the red
white, and blue wreath at the official monument for the 6 million jews killed during world war i ii. he is to meet privately today with the prime minister and the israeli president. this before at dinner later with prime minister netanyahu and other israeli officials. , says chief, ban ki-moon inspectors are ready to deploy to syria within 24 hours to investigate reported chemical weapon attacks and the countries two-year civil war but have no or mission yet from president bashar assad loss government. reports about these of chemical weapons in syria should be examined without the lay and without exceptions. speaking at the headquarters of the organization of the prohibition of typical weapons in the hague. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. the waycc is structured things used to be. -- itnot a wire division
has got a wired division and a wireless division. an annual report is required by congress on the state of wireless. thatssumption behind congressional direction is that the wireless market is somehow separate from the wired market. in fact, in the world of broadband, these two are increasingly converged. >> one thing that stands in the way of the telcos pushing out their network is, unlike the cable companies, the telcos are beholden to special tax, the legacy regulations, by which the telco has to maintain two separate networks. a copper network for our grandparents who insist on having a copper landline telephone. and a broadband network. the problem is that this is a diversion of the resources, and it is not a trivial diversion. if they were freed from those obligations come a they would have billions of dollars to go expand intoest and
broadband networks. >> finding a roadmap for developing broadband in the u.s., tonight on "the communicators turcotte on c- span2. "washington journal" continues. is our guest,vin here to talk about his new book "the terror courts." thanks for being here this morning. you write about military commissions. what are they and why were they set up? there right after 9/11 was a lot of head scratching going on in washington about what to do in response to these terrorist attacks, and some people thought they had the answer. one was to essentially resurrect military commissions. these were military trials that were last held after world war ii to try mainly german and japanese military officials for war crimes. the idea came to this attack on the united states was of a
similar magnitude and the time had come to resurrect this dormant form justice. that is, in a natural, what they were. we're still working on them today. they have gone through three different iterations and have had a rocky history after the days of 9/11. host: you have been to guantánamo bay. how are military commissions operating? guest: guantanamo bay was chosen as a site for detainees after military commissions were designed. president bush put out his order for military commissions in november of 2001. the idea percolated within days of the attacks feared guantánamo was not selected and till the summer 2001. all those these two concerts are forever linked because every proceeding has taken place there, they are not necessarily linked. you can have these anywhere in the world. on an aircraft carrier. guantánamo, of course, is not going anywhere. they are kind of locked in sort of a bad marriage, if you will.
because people who are advocates of military commissions feel that the reputation has been damaged by being linked to guantánamo. on the other hand, they are also sort of unnecessary for guantánamo, because the courts have accepted the idea that people captured in a war or armed conflict can't be held regardless of trial. there is not even a need to try them. because they were allegedly fighting against the united states. it is interesting that they overlap each other. they not exactly the same. host: talk about how military commissions are different from legal proceedings that we know about? guest: they were similar to the way courts-martial were held, which were not that carefully. military justice historically had a reputation of being not a very high form of due process. the sort of thing commanders in the field due to quickly deal with incidents and restore discipline and move on.
military tribunals or military commissions were similar. they were basically -- the concept was military commissions had jurisdiction am a sort of a legal term, over enemy prisoners who were not members of the u.s. services. basically using the same types of procedures. the trick that the bush administration had in mind was, in 2001 and the 21st century, was to use those same very simple, really lack of rules, from the 1940's here in the 21st century. kind of a legal time machine, to create a trial that did not follow any of the due process rules that had been established in the years since. that turned out not to be tenable, because the military today expanded -- expected that military commission would parallel courts-martial's, just as they always had. as courts-martial's had become fair with the geneva conventions and various other things that had happened since the 1940's, they assume that
military commissions would similarly mirror those changes. the bush administration at a different idea, and that led to a conflict that led to the supreme court. host: we are talking about his terror courts." here are the numbers to join in on the conversation. host: you talked about how these are still being used today. how have they evolved are not involved in the changeover to the obama administration? interesting because president obama, as senator, voted against the military commissions act. the reason there was a military commissions act in 2000 six was because the supreme court said president bush's first idea, the 1940's time machine, was not legal. that was struck down. congress enacted a version of
military commissions with some additional protections to defendants, some procedures that seemed more fair. president obama, then a senator, voted against that law. he said it was not good enough. when he became president, there was a big debate in his administration about whether to scrap this whole project altogether and just use the federal court system, the courts-martial, or to somehow try to fix them. ultimately, the president decided he would try to fix them. he had some surveys done to see what kind of changes would make them fair enough for him to approve. those were enacted in 2009. so now we have this third version which the military likes to stress these days how similar they are to regular courts, as opposed to how different they are. and to say, do not worry, they are almost as fair as a normal civilian court or military court. ,ost: let's go to the phones vernon, new york, republican.
caller: thank you for c-span. what you're talking about about now is american justice in the aftermath of the war on terror which started because of september 11. the national institute of standards and technology has admitted that world trade center the link seven was in freefall acceleration for over 100 feet, which is scientifically impossible without the use of explosives. what are the american people be trulyerved by a independent investigation into the fall of building seven? we spent so much money adventuring this. decidedhey are prosecute defendants for past crimes, war crimes people -- war crimes. khalid sheikh mohammed and a number of other people who are alleged to have helped build the plan to attack the united states on 9/11. there are a number of other charges, including someone who is alleged to have at orchestrated the attack on uss yemen.
they key is that these are defined as war crimes. , nottions of the laws civilian crimes. so the question that dogs them is the weird, half four, half not were status we have, and that has caused problems for military commissions. last year, a conviction was thrown out because it was said that it was not a war crime but a civilian crying. host: can you tell us what these commissions sound like, feel like? take us behind the scenes. guest: there are two courts in guantánamo bay. one was created out of a former aircraft control tower. the government spent a couple million dollars to set it up in the mid-2000's. room.a small court there is a very little space between and the attorneys and the witness stand. and the spectators. of course, to be a spectator,
you have to get to guantánamo, so they are carefully screened, reporters and victim's family members. the municipal courts are where the less serious charges are heard. and that court room, you know, it looks like you're going to traffic court. it is not a very elaborate or impressive-looking space. if you are a reporter covering it, you can sit in that room or watch it from a remote location. most read orders find it easier because they can take notes on laptops in the closed circuit location. there is one at fort meade outside baltimore. that is the lower court. the high-security courtroom that was built for really the 9/11 ratherthis one is also austere looking, just a white room, much larger. it holds six rows for defendants. and there are only five defendants. we should talk about why that is. the spectators are separated from the courtroom by a
soundproof glass wall. that is significant, because the government build that so did cut the audio feed to the spectators if anything it decided was secret was said in court. there is a 42nd delay setting in that section. it is kind of surreal. sitting is a 42nd delay in that section. it's kind of surreal. you are looking 40 seconds in the future. what you are hearing took lace warty seconds ago. -dubbed movie.ad it has a lot of attention were suddenly the sound was cut and if you are at a real -- remote location, the screen goes blank because a were that the military or government censor thought was .nappropriate was uttered the judge has put those back on the record, and they have always been words like torture or similar types of things that the government censor thought was secret. guest.ess bravin is our
we have another call on our republicans line. braler: i wanted to ask mr. the man in fort hood who shot all those soldiers. we never hear anything about it. i wanted to know what happened to that trial. going onll, that is right now. that is a court-martial and is going on under the regular uniform code of military justice. all the normalto protections of a court-martial in the u.s. bill of rights. there was some concern over whether the military judge had appropriately required him to shave his beard or not. the defendant was eventually ruled he did keep his beard. that will be a slow, regular type of court-martial proceeding. there -- i assure you it will be back in the news when there is in the to report. host: we have a call from texas. caller: thank you for taking
michael -- my call. i hear that a significant number have been cleared for release from guantánamo bay but have not. some have been held there for years after being cleared. is that true? guest: yes, that is true. there are about 140 or so detainees e economy may right now. about half of them were cleared for release, mainly under the bush administration, some under the obama administration am a but there are obstacles to actually releasing them. most of them are from yemen. united states determined that yemen is an unstable country and it would be dangerous to let these people there. they might fall under bad influence. yemen cannot watch them. the u.s. do not feel comfortable releasing people to an unstable country like yemen. others are from other countries. congress has imposed a lot of restrictions. what the administration can do to remove people from guantánamo, so that is a strange situation.
we have people who were either captured in error and were held by mistake or they have decided that they are not a threat to the united states and there is no reason to hold them. perhaps they were minor people, people found carrying a rifle or something. these people are stuck there in this limbo. mainly because of diplomatic and political decisions inside the united states, not because of anything they have done. host: in your story that you write in your book, you focus on one military prosecutor, .ieutenant colonel stuart couch who is he and why is he significant? when we talk about military commissions, most of the -- the debates have been on an abstract or ideological level. let's not do that because it would be unfair, be un-american to treat people unfairly. and then not that abstract level, what i tried to do in this book is go beyond that and
say, well, how has this experiment work? how have these days is been put together? what are the costs and benefits in the sense of reality? here is what we have been doing up till now. he is now retired. a lieutenant colonel from the u.s. marine corps. he had the most fascinating story and one that americans should be acquainted with. he is a career marine officer, rotc, from duke university. he became a pilot in the marine corps. he later went to law school after the drawdown and they cut back on the number of pilots they needed. he became a lawyer in the marine corps. military was a prosecutor involved in most of the most serious cases at guantánamo. he is more than that. for him, the mission was personal. one of his flying buddies in the marine corps who had left the marines and became a commercial pilot was a victim on 9/11. in fact, he was the copilot on
united flight 175 which was hijacked and crashed into the world trade center. the fbi said he probably had his throat slit by the terrorists before he was flown in there. , it wasch volunteered a question of patriotism. it was a personal matter as well. also, you are a military lawyer, lawyers are really not the -- they may be front and center in washington, but in the military, they are not. they're like a back-office operation. if you are a military lawyer prosecuting terrorists after 9/11, that it's really your chance to contribute to the war on terrorism. all his motivations were behind him. he is, like many military officers, from north carolina, and he is i nature conservative -- he is, by nature, conservative. very religious. not unusual for someone who is a career military officer.
his experience involved in these cases was astoundingly illustrative of what the united states was in. he starts out being given the hardest cases they had at the time, because he had a lot of experience as a prosecutor, and very quickly he discovers that the system he signed up for is not the one he actually discovered across on a monday. the first clue he found out was on his first trip to guantánamo after joining the office of military commissions, and he goes to watch interrogations. through closed- circuit monitor of an interrogation room, very proper. it is very nice. while he is watching this on a monitor, he hears this deafening rock music from down the hallway. he goes to see what is going on. he thinks there are immense -- enlisted soldiers having a party or something. he goes down and finds the music is emanating from a cell where
there is a detainee on the ground in some kind of torment as this music is deafening. he looks at the pudgy civilian guys pushing him out of the door. couch is like, what is going on? he has a flashback to his own counter-resistance training. he was training about what to do if he was captured by north korea or some country that does not respect the geneva conventions. he saw what looked like the kind of technique he was taught to resist. that was the first clue. as he goes on dealing with cases involving senior al qaeda recruiters are people who were alleged to train the 9/11 attackers -- almost every case, there was some obstacle to becausejustice, usually of misconduct by the united states. torturing prisoners, that comes up again and again, abusing prisoners, political interference into canceling some cases against people who
supposedly may have been very guilty. pushing the kerry trials against people. time and again, couch wants to bring a case and finds it has been ruined or significantly damaged by misconduct on the united states' side. it is incredibly disheartening in some ways for him, but it is also which shows americans with their military is really made of. americans what the military is really made of. host: and he was willing to talk to you? guest: he was and he was authorized to do so. i have covered this for the newspaper as well for many years. one day i was working on a story about prosecutors and he was the one selected to talk to me. he followed his guidelines and it turned out there was a lot there. >> -- host: our next caller calling in to talk with jess bravin. san diego, a democrat, go ahead. caller: thank you for the book, i will definitely read it. is sohole thing
disgusting. it is hard to talk about. my initial question is going to be about the people that are not being released even though they cleared for release. treated like prisoners without committing a crime. that has already been answered. so, do you have any idea why congress has made it so difficult for anything to happen with these detainee's? especially the democrats, the type that you used to be, they were at times so bullish about gitmo, torture, military
commissions. we thought that they were serious, but obviously it was not serious at all, it was just a campaign issue for them to use. why has congress done when it -- done what it has done if it is still wrong? and do you know of anything that the obama administration might be doing behind the scenes? commissions. guest co-host -- host: lets get a response. guest: just today the son-in-law of the late osama bin laden is supposed to make a court appearance at federal court in new york. there have been one dozen or so other terrorist cases that in theory could have been brought before military commission. every time they decide to send it to federal court. federal court has a strong record of imposing harsh punishments on terrorism cases. we can say that the obama administration has not added any cases and the people who are
currently defendants were likely to be defendants, captured in 2004, it is for things that they ago or longer. that cannot be seen as a case of, and. question is why is it that they are still here when obama said he would close guantanamo? a great question, of the many things that he and his upon it disagreed about, one that they did not was guantanamo bay. barack obama and john mccain both said they would close guantanamo. obama said -- i think that obama was surprised that there was pushed back. seizedrly on republicans on this where they did not trust them, did not trust him with terrorism and made a big deal about how he should not be
trusted and should not be allowed to do this because they did not agree with his judgment. democrats slowly but quickly joined gone. i cannot read their minds, but politically it seems there has been little benefit in making yourself vulnerable to a charge that is soft on terrorism. see a big ground swell of interest in this topic. democrats were clearly more uncomfortable imposes restrictions. put veryistration little political capital in. as a results, acquiesced. the president's own party, the president may have decided that his time was better spent on health care and other projects.
host: how different will the trial of osama bin laden's son- in-law, which you mentioned will take place in new york, how different will that be from the military commission at guantanamo bay? the greatt is one of mysteries. the rules on paper have changed from no rules to a whole set of rules, but throughout there have been several cases that have received conviction from military commission. although the results have been similar or more lenient in many cases, the outcomes of military commissions, regardless of what we think about the rules on paper, defendants have very little to complain about. some people would probably not be free today had they not made a plea bargain for military commissions. of outcome, in terms
procedures we also do not know. one thing the know applies is the bill of rights. rights against self- incrimination, competent attorney, and so forth. right? there are two centuries of case law on what those mean. right now it is not known if any part of the bill of rights applies. the defense said that the judge needed to issue a ruling showing that the bill of rights presumptively applied and if it does not, it needed to be explained. ruleovernment said not to on that. what body ofn know law applies. whether it is the u.s. at --tution, if it is elements of international law, that is one of the reasons our proceedings go so slow. every question for there is an
answer in a u.s. court martial, there is a rule book and we do not look into whether people agree with the answer or not. these commissions have to fight out a lot of threshold questions that have been answered, for moore worst. host: this from twitter -- guest of those are great questions. yes, there is a right to a speedy trial under the constitution, but speedy is relative. the federal courts have felt that people captured under this have felt that the speedy clock does not count in the same way. during world war ii we held more than 1 million enemy prisoners that were released at the end of
the conflict. debates not a lot of regarding holding enemies away from fighting. the tricky part is that it is a war and it is not a war. that is not clear who the united states would even sign a truce with. there are elements that are like a war and elements that are not like a war. these paths do not really apply. jess bravin is our guest. rob, california? caller, -- caller: [indiscernible] in guantanamo bay, very clearly.
is there a chance that anyone in the bushes ministration will ever be tried for war crimes? guest: the question of torture is really important in military commission, it is involved in almost every case. what to do about that has been beenhing that has prosecuted against. it may not strictly applied. people like and cis investigators and other people always assume the you cannot use evidence taken from torture. the convention that the u.s. ratified, signed by president .eagan, made it clear what to do about that has been a
problem. that is why they shelled cases against people they thought were guilty because the evidence came from torture. some advocates have said that torture is such a who could ever know, so they should have military commissions where the evidence comes in, but even when torture could technically be used under the old military commission rules, military officers were not going to use it. maybe some would, but many refused to use it. officially says that evidence from coercion, less of a standard than torture, cannot be used. at one point it was brought on guantanamo and in nine states in federal court. there was evidence obtained from torture there that the judge refused to admit. see, you should have sent this to a military commission. there we could have used the
evidence. the note from the judge in his ruling was that he was not so sure, because the rules of the same as in federal court. unless you're saying a military judge will ignore those rules, there is no reason to think they will be taken in a military commission. host: jess bravin, his book is called "the terror courts." you may know him from this program as a writer for "the wall street journal." thank you so much for talking about your book with us today, jess bravin. guest: my pleasure. host: coming up next, your money segment. a look at the money spent in afghanistan and iraq. first, this news update from c- span radio. >> tonight at 11:00 p.m. eastern was sad to elizabeth
hear the news of the death of margaret thatcher. at adate on tensions factory complex that it has been jointly running with south korea. severing the last economic link as tensions escalate. the decision by the north to pull out 53,000 workers shows that they're willing to hurt their own economy to display their anger at south korea and the united states. back in the states the president travels to connecticut to talk about gun control legislation. the governor signed into law widespread -- widespread restrictions. c-span will be covering that event. those are some of the latest headlines on c-span radio. >> they had a very political
marriage, much like john and abigail. she was walking the halls of congress, very careful to say what her husband believed and what her husband advocated. but she herself was doing the pitch. one of her opponents said that he hoped that of james were ever elected president that she would take up housekeeping like a normal woman. aresaid "if james and i elected, i shall neither keep house nor butler." we will take your questions and comments tonight on "first ladies, live at 9:00 p.m. eastern. >> "washington journal" continues.
host: this morning ought -- this morning on our your money , a publicinda blimes policy senior lecturer, she puts the cost of the wars between $4 trillion and $6 trillion all told. thank you for being with us. what were the major conclusions of the report? guest: i remember 2005, when the newspapers were full of the war, and shrubs were in a terrible situation, where you're sending , i tryoops and weapons to find a number to figure out how much this was all costing, which must have been higher than
the government figures, because they did not include the cost of borrowing money, taking care of veterans, economic complications and others. i and my latest paper that came out last week, the conclusion is the war cost a minimum of $1 trillion, quite a lot of money, and the cost of providing medical care and disability that -- benefits will continue for decades. so, this financial legacy of debt will have a significant impact on national security, forcing us into the series of trade-offs but that we may or may not a comfortable making. host: linda blimes is our guest.
we have a special line set up for people who served in iraq or afghanistan. 585-3883. call at 202- our other phone numbers, for republicans, 202-585-3881. . for democrats, 202-585-3880. for independents, 202-585-3882. iraq and afghanistan veterans, the active military, not to 02-585-3883. most expensive for in u.s. history as we look at the history of iraq and afghanistan, with a added $2 trillion to the national debt. estimated total cost over the next four decades, for dollar trillion to $6 trillion.
linda blimes talk to us about what happens after the war in terms of the cost and taking care of veterans and how that is laid out over time. guest: one of the things we know is that board always have long- term costs. the peak -- peak of disability 1969, forwar i was world war ii it was 1986, and for vietnam we have not even come close to paying the peak disability benefits. we will have the same phenomenon in this case, but it will be a much higher number.
there will be the same number of veterans with much more complex claims, much higher percentage of veterans claiming disability compensation. all that means that there is a legacy of costs accrued, but not get paid, that will add another $1 trillion to the money we have already paid out for the war. ofle the country is kind turning the page, emotionally, on some of these wars, we are not turning the page in the budgetary sense, we have more to pay. host: we are talking about 1.5 million veterans who have been discharged. you can see here some more details of the legacy of iraq and afghanistan. those treated, over 800,000.
700,000 have filed disability claims. onda blimes but, reflect those numbers that we see. guest: we have -- we thought were fought with a small, a volunteer force with a significant contingent of volunteers who heavily relied on contractors. we have a significant number of who served two, three, four more tours. there are a number of things that have gone wrong. we know that there has been a tremendous toll in posttraumatic stress disorder.
had a0 troops have traumatic brain injury of some kind. the cumulative effect of the years of war have taken a significant toll. we see it in the pentagon, these very high costs for the health- care system, for active duty troops were serving their families, the children, and those who were discharged, veterans, as well as a high social cost for the of parents and families of those who have served. this has been very different from previous wars, where there is a larger percentage of the population involved. host: jimmy is our first caller from indiana, democratic line, for linda bilmes. caller: good morning. i guess my thoughts are the same old, same old.
the u.s. military presence of this a symptomis of the disease rather than the disease itself? there are already rumblings every day of people needing to clean house in north korea, going to iran, turn it into a glass factory. what you think about the quote from eisenhower when he warned that the military-industrial complex will bankrupt america? volunteer military, a jumbo shrimp oxymoron. anyway, the symptom or the disease, we cannot afford all of these actions anymore. guest: as you pointed out, general eisenhower said it best.
cautious were most iraq going into a rack -- paid a disproportionate part of the price. the debt that we have compiled for iraq and afghanistan is that the military may be forced to make a number of choices that are not necessarily first choices. the cost of strikes has become extremely high. the cost of military benefits and health care may be the right choice, but we have not figured out a way to pay for it. this has added another $2 trillion to our national debt.
speakingl -- we are speaking to linda bilmes. the cost estimate according to this report is placed between $4 trillion and $6 trillion. ted is next, new york. hello, thank you for c- span. shy not know why we are so about putting on some kind of war tax. i look at the debt crisis in this country as an emergency. everyone is lying back, taking it nice and easy. we have a national debt emergency. some kind of ae flat board tax, i do not know the exact number, but 5% should
have been included at the outset. was theinion this war greatest boondoggle in american history. i just cannot get over, cannot get my arms around the idea of the decision to go to war, george bush, dick cheney, i do not want to digress, but maybe 50 cents or a dollar on a gas tax should be put in place. host: let's get a response. guest: an excellent point. there is the decision to go to war and there is also the decision about how to pay for that war. in this case we broke precedent with how we have financed of previous wars, where we had
issued victory bonds and added various fees and surcharges to pay for the war. in this case we have borrowed all the money that paid for the wars, adding to dollar trillion to the national debt. but it is not just the debt itself, but the fact the burden has not been shared round the population. no one in ourhere generation is actually paying for it. we transferred the financial burden for the war to future generations, transferring the fighting of the war to a small percentage of the population. this unprecedented method of paying for a war has not happened before today. host: randy, democratic line. caller: thank you for having
this conversation. it has been needed for some time. my point is that george bush should have rolled back his tax cuts when he decided to go to iraq. this was totally irresponsible. a back my point would be tax. are you still there? for would be my first offer paying for it. guest of the caller is correct, we cut taxes in 2001 at the time that we invaded afghanistan, and we cut them in 2003 and we invaded iraq. as i mentioned before, that was unprecedented in u.s. history. the only previous time we did something similar was the revolutionary war, where we borrowed extensively from the french.
i have long advocated that we have a veterans trust fund, money that would be appropriated at the same time that we appropriate money for war, we know that there are long-term costs associated with taking care of those who fight the war. and the additional benefit of setting aside some percentage of dollars, maybe 25 cents per dollar for those veterans, pricing a war closer to what it would cost. hopefully that would be a disincentive to go to war, but it would also be more accurate and transparent in terms of the full cost of war at the time when we take the decision to use our military force. henderson, new york.
caller: i am glad that even have beyond tonight -- today. -- i mean on tonight today. my son is in the marine corps. i am a veteran myself. i have a nephew who has been in afghanistan for the last year. i believe in my heart that the people of the united states should fund the this with taxes and not have a problem with it. i know what it was like when i came home and it was not pretty. i hope that you people do something about it. thank you. guest: first of all, thank you for your service and for the service of your son and your family. i agree with you, the american people want to be supportive. day i have an e- mail from someone in the country
saying i want to do something to help our veterans. i have an extra room in my house, what can i do? asked, theh you, if american public wants to be helpful. however, we have now is a situation where funding has not been set aside. a creditwas put on card. taking a side the decision of whether or not we should have been there in the first place, we have the decision going forward about how to pay for it and making sure that our veterans are well cared for. the leadership at the department of veterans affairs has been very strong in trying to expand benefits. enacted a new gi bill, expanding the number of conditions, like agent orange from previous wars to be easier to claim.
been a welcome change of attitude by the country and by the va. however, we have not changed our financing mechanisms or disability claims systems as quickly as we changed our philosophy in terms of trying to be helpful to those who fought the wars. , fromlinda bilmes departmente labor labor advisory committee on veterans with appointed outreach training. she also sits on the council of foreign relations. she is the co-author of the book, "the $3 trillion war." bilmes and her group,
doing the financial legacy of the report, put the cost estimates that between $4 trillion and $6 trillion over the next decade. let's look at the cost for medical care. $24 billion in disability benefits, social security disability, and then we see the va related services. the total spent today is $134 billion. medical benefits for the next 40 years? $836 billion. relate this to past wars. we had a veteran call in and talk about his care when he came home. how does this compare to past wars and veterans? guest: wars always have long- term costs, disability benefits
always peaked decades afterwards. in this particular war we have a much higher set of utilization of a health care claims for benefits. this is for a variety of reasons. both because we have expanded the number of claims that veterans can apply for, and also because veterans have been of flying in record numbers with very complex claims. the average claim is for three conditions and the average claim for iraq and afghanistan is for eight conditions. this is related to the fact that the -- that the tours of duty are long and that we have higher survival rates with more expensive and better medical care, keeping many people alive who would not have survived previous wars. there is a whole new environment
in terms of people stepping up and claiming mental health conditions. good, it isfor the all progress, but it carries a high price tag. of what we have seen so far is that of the 2.5 billion troops have served only about 1.5 have been discharged and become with 56% of those claiming disability benefits with high utilization among the active duty troops and families within the system. includeexpanded it to reservists and guards with high utilization, for example, for the children of active-duty troops.
this high price tag will continue over a long period of time. this is a promise that we have made. these are claims that need to be paid. if this was a private sector business we would consider these costs as a kind of deferred compensation. that is how it would show up on the balance sheet. because of the way the u.s. government does accounting, its accrues the liability of benefits without showing up anywhere. it cannot be filed in the government account. question there and the is how will we pay for it even in austerity? make sure that we are not cutting back on the promise we made to the veterans? the: if you're a veteran of wars in iraq or afghanistan, you 585-give us a call at 202-
3883. pennsylvania, independent line. caller: good morning, i appreciate the program. thank you for everyone out there who puts their life on the line for our safety and welfare. cost ofking about the the wars and everything, has anyone ever looked into the fact or try to find out -- how much profit has been made by the different organizations? how much money could have been saved had everything in the military be manufactured here in the united states? when opportunity to provide? it seems to me that we are just
cutting our own throats. they talk about us needing to pay for the war, but we could pay for it if we had high-paying jobs manufacturing war materials. has anyone ever investigated to find out who makes the profit in the war? guest: i have a couple of points to make about your excellent question. the first is about the economic cost. when you go into debt for things like investing in this country, building roads, investing in education, it produces a net benefit to the country. most of the money spent on the iraq and afghanistan wars is not that kind of spending. most of that spending has detracted from the macro economic strength of the united
states. there have been a number of specifics, like the price of oil, $23 per barrel before the invasion of iraq, and within a couple of years it went up to $140 per barrel without really going down since then. not all of that is attributed to the wars, of course, but the wars are one of the things that put pressure on oil prices going up without even transferring out of the united states. the warve been costs of that have been borne by caregivers, who were given jobs to become full-time care givers to wounded veterans coming home. there was an enormous cost to the war in the form of payments made to foreign contractors.
there was the enormous cost of the war i and reconstruction costs to iraq, where we spent $52 billion in afghanistan and $87 billion, much of which has been wasted or gone into profiteering by a number of companies. now, all of those things add up to the fact that these wars have been bad for the u.s. economy. these wars have not produced a net benefit to the u.s. economy. they have been funded by debt, which has been purchased, our debt, primarily, by china and japan and others, by non- americans. waged a war in such a way that the economy has not benefited, together making a bad investment in addition to the fact that it has been expected of them to make that decision in the first place.
>> looking at this report from linda, the financial legacy of a iraq and afghanistan, more spending decisions will constrain future national security budgets, estimating the total cost at between $4 trillion and $6 trillion. one more call from natasha, republican line. question and a comment i would like to make. i was wondering, the private contractors, is that amount included in your trillions of dollars? is there any place we can find the amounts of money that repeat the private contractors? excuse me, i have one other question or comment i would like to lay regarding things getting done in washington. someone tried to look for tom delay to kill him?
our government quickly put up a huge visitors center and made it impossible for anyone to access any of the legislators. they are only concerned with themselves, they do not care what we think in this country. they do not even take a discount or a cut in their cage. host: any response on the questions put forward? guest: i would point you to the excellent reports from the special inspector general for iraq, stuart bowen, and the special inspector general for afghanistan. these special inspector general's have, with reconstruction money, put together very detailed reports that detail the waist and
profiteering that we are so familiar with. a pretty comprehensive report in which they describe the great deal of money wasted. these are large amounts of money. in afghanistan we paid $87 billion. compared to the national parks budget, where we spent $2.5 billion each year. $87 billion is not an inconsequential number. however, those numbers in the report on the reconstruction funds are only a very tiny piece of the $4 trillion that has been spent at a minimum on the war's. $1 trillion is a lot of money. had $1,000,001,000 bills stacked up, going about two- thirds of them washington monument, or a trillion dollar
bills, that is 65 miles, a magnitude larger. although thereat has been profiteering, corruption, and number of companies that have done well from the wars, including by the way the health care companies that serve the system in the defense department, the save money is simply the money we have spent to fight the wars, to operate the wars, to produce the vehicles, to take care of the veterans today with a huge legacy for the wars and things yet to come. weaddition to the fact that have to pay interest on the money that we borrowed. host: linda bilmes, thank you so much for talking with us this morning. guest: thank you. host: we are spending the next 20 minutes getting your response
to the news that margaret thatcher, former prime minister to britain, has died. thats been confirmed margaret thatcher died this morning. it was with great sadness that they announced that her mother died -- their mother died following a stroke. host: we are seeing international reaction to the news of the death of margaret thatcher. if you would like to share your thoughts, here are the numbers to call. for republicans, 202-585-3881. for democrats, 202-585-3880. for independents, 202-585-3882. president george w. bush put out this statement on the passing of baroness margaret thatcher.
"we are saddened by her death. she guided her nation with confidence and clarity. a great example of strength and character and a great ally that strengthened the special relationship between the united nations -- the united states and great britain. i join the people of great britain in remembering the life and leadership of this strong and great friend." political leaders speaking out, this from tony blair -- host: reading more from "the telegraph," about the death of former prime minister margaret thatcher, david cameron, the
host: you can find old footage of margaret thatcher on our website, c-span.org, you can find many of her appearances there. looking into her health, this story from "the telegraph," says that she had become increasingly frail in recent years following a series of small strokes. her daughter revealed in 2008 that she undiagnosed with dementia. she had been diagnosed with dementia. "the guardian," going with
this, the most dominant prime minister since winston churchill, global champion of free economic revival, has died." response.s get your the silver spring, md., independent line. your reaction? caller: i am saddened by the fact that she has died, but there were some people in britain in this year's in the
she's felt strongly that was not as good of a leader as she was made out to be. feel she was not as cooperative as i would have liked. she played footsie with apartheid in south africa. but there are some people, as i said, who did not think that she did quite such a good job. host: dwight, democratic line. caller: i am sure that the wonderful things search through, but i am concerned that the historical facts margaret
thatcher is that she convinced the first george bush to go to war in the first gulf war. when iraq invaded the neighboring country, i cannot think of the name of it at the moment, but the point is that she was the person who convinced him to go into the first gulf war. prior to that it was not a major issue. we told saddam hussein that it was ok for him to take over that area of the world. i am concerned that she is a soft ball to hit after her death. piece from "the statement." theyf the nine top things lister as being remembered for is her advice to george bush.
"she played an instrumental role in persuading george h. w. bush to take a tough stance against some -- against saddam hussein." adrian, hello. caller: how are you? host: 5. ofler: what is being made this is too much. i am 27 years old. it, to, to reflect on sit here and spend a whole day talking about something that cannot be done now does not affect now. i think too much is being made of it. host: do you feel that way about all of history? is there no value in looking back? caller: yes and no.
she was the prime minister of another country. what can be done now is lost because real talking about what she did in another country years ago. we need to talk about ways to raise our self awareness and see what happens. host: this is what john boehner had to say about the death of former british prime minister, margaret thatcher. gary, clearwater, florida, your thoughts on the passing of margaret thatcher?
caller: very short and brief i will be. margaret thatcher is probably one of the most prime examples of female leadership, having proven without a doubt that the world is most ready. i would hope that there is women today who would be touched by what she has done and accomplished in her life as leader. who would take hold of the rains, and men, if there is a ,oman of this virtue in america i would hope that we would support her, bringing her to the , doing as well of a job here in america as she has,
host: mary, conn., democratic line. your thoughts? hello, mary. you are on. caller: i just wanted to make a comment. the irish republican army had people arrested and thrown in prison, which was probably right. but when they went on a hunger strike, she said with no care, let them starve to death, i thought that that was in extremely poor taste. it would have been better for her and i am sure -- i should not say that, but my point is my mother was born in ireland.
kept the big mouth shut, she would have been far better off. "usa today," reminding us that she survived an assassination attempt, barely escaping injury when an ira bomb went off near her hotel." the room next to her was bad the damage. you're watching footage of her resignation from 1990, all of her appearances on c-span on our on our web site in the video library, c-span.org. republican line, pennsylvania. hello. caller: i wanted to give that " the she is famous for, socialism fails, it runs on your money to
pay for all of the program. host: what does that mean to you? caller: it is advice about our economy. programs that make us a socialist country at least -- at this point and we're running out of money to pay for all the money. there are all kinds of things you can do. but when you do not even have a up to and you are in debt cannot doon, you just all the things he would like to do for people. host: roy, indiana. was forargaret thatcher privatizing things and the trend in our country has been the other way, lately, with the
election of president obama we have gone away from that. in britain they tried that. they tried socialized medicine. they still have that, i think. here is what i know. i know that the trend under her was privatization. to me that works better for raping. the socializing of everything, i think that that worked better. to me they won that war. i know that they won that war. margaret thatcher was a great leader. to me she was a great prime minister. will goally i think she down as a great time minister. host: you may have seen me smiling, we are showing footage of an interview done with margaret thatcher by c-span's
brian lamb. you can find that in our video archive, c-span.org. the bbc says that david cameron has canceled planned talks in pet -- in paris with the french president and will return to the u.k. later today. but robinson said that she had been a -- nick robinson said that she had been a controversial figure. independent line, florida. your thoughts? guest: i was in the marines at the time the prime minister was in office. policiesjuxtapose her to be socializing great britain -- de-socializing great britain, it is ironic that this ,erson took from the successful
in other words ensuring equal outcomes, not equal opportunities. she was at that to everything the current occupant of -- she was at the radical to everything the current occupant of the white house wants -- thethetical to everything current occupant of the white house wants. caller: i am a young republican. when margaretnd thatcher was in office. what really impressed me was her leadership ability. you know, like john boehner said, no-nonsense policies.